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Thread: Early Offense for Protoss

  1. #1

    Default Early Offense for Protoss

    When I consider early offensive strats, I mean something I can make a push with between 5 and 7 minutes for harass and "aggressive scouting" purposes. I have found some success with terran and Zerg with MM and Roach/Roachling builds, but I am struggling to get something better than zealot spam with Protoss. Even then, I only have perhaps 8-12 Zealots at the 7 mark, and I'm usually far to outnumbered to make the push I want.

    The purpose is two-fold: stall my opponent's expansion efforts and open a scouting lane for a probe or other small unit, pre-observer. I also try to expo during this push in those rare instances I actually get one off. In particular, I need something viable PvT. Vs. Zerg and Toss, I'm getting good at getting scouts in and out and adapting strats accordingly, but I can't vs. Terran. I usually have to wait for obs, in which case I frequently get hit by banshee harass first. I've only been able to stop this when I have been able to stall the T's econ.

    I can't post a replay at this time, but my 3 base stalker/zealot/collossi/dt army is being hammered of late by a mass Banshee to Banshee/Thor build. I really feel if I can gain an economic advantage early, I can avoid this altogether, but I have trouble getting troops out before I take my natural and have warpgate research done.

    Here's my 2 typical build orders:

    First Pylon at 10 (or 8).

    If fast raxes scouted by early probe, or the wall-in is hit: Forge immediately, then Gate by 12. (When I go pylon at 8, forge and 1st gate both come at 10-11 probes).

    While getting to 26 probes and 4 gates, I typically put my Cyb core down at about 2.5 minutes, with my geysers shortly thereafter (roughly at 14-16 probes). Warpgate research begins as soon as cyb core finishes. Zealots produce as mins are available. When the warpgate research finishes around the 6 minute mark (when I'm on my game; most often at 7 minutes), i have 8-12 units, mostly zealots, with a few stalkers (up to 4) mixed in. I don't use a sentry build due to later gas needs. Instead, I upgrade early.

    I send my army to my opponent's natural and usually find myself outnumbered 2-3 to 1.

    When I scout something other than a rine rush, I go for a modified forge fast expand, dropping 2 gates then forge, cannoning my natural's choke rather than my main's and go to 6 gates by the 5-6 minute mark instead of 4. Same army output results.

    Note: My robo and twilight council both go down as soon as the cyb core finishes, provided I have the gas. Otherwise, as soon as gas is available (within a minute or so).

    My question is, can I get more troops as a Toss by the 7 minute mark? And how much might I have to modify my build?
    I am a master tactician. It is my execution that keeps getting me killed.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Early Offense for Protoss

    Really long post and kinda roundabout. But i guess in regards to more units from your opponent at 7minutes...perhaps what you should be considering is their weak time comes earlier.

    There's a reason typical 4 gates hit at 6 minutes. Or the delayed version which is a slow buildup of units then hitting before their expo fully kicks in (something around 8-9minutes I believe). Hitting much earlier lets you have the warp gate influx and overwhelm your opponent. Hitting later means he's invested in tech and expansions whereas you just invested in army.

    And in general if you go zealot-sentry you tend to have a much larger army. It has to do with stalker cost. One thing to note is you mention a lot of later game investment like upgrades and tech. That eats into your army size. You might like going to attack with a few sentries warped in. Make a proxy pylon then run the probe up. If you think you can break it then go for it. If it looks too big then just forcefield contain his ramp while you let your economy and tech build up. But be wary of medivacs. Typically close to 10minutes unless they rushed starport tech. Before those medivacs come out just forcefield and run your units home.

    Hard to really say much else without a specific example of what you're doing vs something Terran does that beats you. In regards to mass banshees later game when you're on 3 base....no harm hard countering it with double stargate phoenix and lots of observers. Like 3-4 observers.

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  3. #3

    Default Re: Early Offense for Protoss

    First I would like to say that the style of thinking that you have about "how can I beat this thing before it becomes a problem?" is a pretty cool way of thinking IMO. It is something that alot of people have problems with, as in they do not think that maybe the best way to deal with something is NOT directly with the problem but BEFORE the problem can occur. So Kudos for that.

    As for ways to deal with the problem I have to agree with Jack with how little we can help without a certain amount of replays. And, I often do not like to tell people their build is horrible as much as I like to give ideas for them to think about to make their build better. It may turn out their build IS horrible, but it is not really my place to say it. So while I can not give you DIRECT advice on what you should do with your build without seeing it I can give you some advice and things to think about when you are trying to fix certain things about your build.

    First advice: If your main goal is to be aggressive early, why do you need the early forge? I understand you want to get upgrades, but do you need the forge THAT early? A forge is 150 minerals and that early in the game it is ALOT of minerals. With that same amount of minerals you can make another gate or 3 more probes which will make your first push stronger.

    Second advice: If the reason you want to try to be aggressive early is because of late game antics, do you need to be aggressive THAT early? Instead of trying to do SO much damage that early, why not be a bit more defensive at the start, get an expo faster and get aggressive a few minutes later with MORE stuff. With this style you DO want some early sentries but the gas you use on them can be made up for by the earlier expansion. The early expansion ALSO lets you have a way to make extra probes in case you lose some to a person going for banshees. If they get SUPER fast banshees (before 8 minutes) and your expansion is up it is ok to lose some probes because they could not have expanded without taking a MAJOR risk (by having no army to protect their expansion). So move your probes around until you have an obs out to chase off the banshee. If they are building multiple banshees make more than on observer. (one for each base and one to scout their base). That way you can have observers over your mineral line so you dont have to wander it back and forth between bases.

    Third advice: If you are worried about banshees steal their second gas whenever you can. If you get into their base (on most maps you can with your pylon scout) and they have their first gas up and mining, take their other gas. It will not delay their tech alot if they still decide to go banshees, but it WILL delay it. It will give you that much more time to prepare and scout them.

    Aggression does not HAVE to be army aggression or direct aggression. Delaying their tech can greatly help you narrow down what they COULD be doing, OR put you vs a slower version of a build.

    Last advice: If you are trying to delay their economy, but can not beat their army directly. Drop their mineral line with some zealots. Even later in the game a zealot drop can wreck havoc on a terran base and their production facilities. If they decide to ring their base with missile turrets to stop drops, that is 100 minerals per turret that is NOT going to be part of their army. Minerals for late game protoss are easy to come buy usually and we tend to starve out for gas. Using a PURE mineral drop (prism and zealots are all minerals) it gives us a nice way to force the terran to react without losing all that much in the general scheme of things. The earlier in the game you decide to drop, the more important it is that you be as cost efficient as you can. If they pull their scvs immediately go ahead and pick your zealots back up and fly away to drop some time later.

    Try to think of these bits of advice while you are trying to improve your build. And remember to GL and HF.
    I realize that I change my signature often. All I can say to that is: SO??? HAI FIVE!! (*・∀・)/♡\(・∀・*)

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  4. #4

    Default Re: Early Offense for Protoss

    Quote Originally Posted by flak4321 View Post
    Here's my 2 typical build orders:

    First Pylon at 10 (or 8).

    If fast raxes scouted by early probe, or the wall-in is hit: Forge immediately, then Gate by 12. (When I go pylon at 8, forge and 1st gate both come at 10-11 probes).
    Making your own builds at lower levels of play is often more harmful that beneficial, no offense : )

    Take a look at some builds here :

    http://wiki.teamliquid.net/starcraft2/Protoss_Strategy

    And more specifically, I believe this is the build you're looking for :

    http://wiki.teamliquid.net/starcraft...into_Expansion

    or this :

    http://wiki.teamliquid.net/starcraft...eway_Expansion

    Both of these builds allow you to safely expand, while pressuring heavily. Forge fast expansion builds only work well against zerg.

    Your standard build should pretty much always be :

    9 pylon
    10 CB Nexus
    13Gate/CBnexus
    14 Gas
    16 Pylon
    17 Core
    18 Zealot
    21Gas
    22 Stalker
    25 Pylon
    Add in additional production facilities when you can, without cutting probes.

    Quote Originally Posted by flak4321 View Post

    When I scout something other than a rine rush, I go for a modified forge fast expand, dropping 2 gates then forge, cannoning my natural's choke rather than my main's and go to 6 gates by the 5-6 minute mark instead of 4. Same army output results.

    Note: My robo and twilight council both go down as soon as the cyb core finishes, provided I have the gas. Otherwise, as soon as gas is available (within a minute or so).

    My question is, can I get more troops as a Toss by the 7 minute mark? And how much might I have to modify my build?
    You can't really expect to have much of an army, if you went for a forge/cannons + an expo and 6 gates, at the 5-6 minute mark. Too much teching, not enough economy.


    Stand and deliver, that my hamster might have a better look at you.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Early Offense for Protoss

    I thank you all for your efforts. I'll look through my replays and find 2 or 3 that are typical.

    @Silencbank: Thanks for the compliment. The "before it becomes a problem" mentality comes from my primary 2v2 ally. She has been nudging me to earlier offense strats to wipe at least one opponent out before teching up makes SC life interesting. I am actively applying this to 1v1 play. I have been incorporating drops more frequently and it is helping.

    @Peanutbutter: Thanks for the links. I'll certainly give them a look.

    @Jackhammer: Yeah, I realize I had some issue getting to my point. Again, I'll try to get some replays up. To put it as concisely as possible, I'm looking to improve my first 6-8 minutes to a point where I can force a macro game even out of a rush fest, and be positioned to exploit my econ advantage. I would like to have my natural expo at least halfway up by 7-8 minutes instead of 10-13 minutes.
    I am a master tactician. It is my execution that keeps getting me killed.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Early Offense for Protoss

    You can get the expansion up if you are good at multitasking, put the nexus down as soon as you started the first wave of attack. Try to make some damage, and when and if the opponents army gets bigger retreat a bit, but stay aggressive without losing the army.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Early Offense for Protoss

    Quote Originally Posted by Twilice View Post
    You can get the expansion up if you are good at multitasking, put the nexus down as soon as you started the first wave of attack. Try to make some damage, and when and if the opponents army gets bigger retreat a bit, but stay aggressive without losing the army.
    He means to say....Make base then defense it. If terran army too strong run. Medivac imba. Mariner make too big damage.
    Last edited by JackhammerIV; 10-13-2011 at 06:37 AM.

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  8. #8

    Default Re: Early Offense for Protoss

    Quote Originally Posted by JackhammerIV View Post
    He means to say....Make base then defense it. If terran army too strong run. Medivac imba. Mariner make too big damage.
    came here to say this



    ... im no Protoss player so ill try to not get too deep into techincal and buildorder stuff.. itwould be cool to see some flak replays like before though


    as has already been pointed out; if you want to do any sort of 6ish minute attack and expand behind it, you should do a gateway-expansion build, not a forge build; finish your warpgate and build3-4gatways and units out of them;use those to cover your expansion. get a proxy-pylon up and attack as you spot oportunity to do so.

    The thing with early gateway pushes however is that you become quite dedicated into keeping sinking money in them to protect your investments, especially vs concussive shells or mass speedling; retreat isnt always an option. Good forcefield placment can mitigate that problem, but thats not recomended if you're feeling at all shaky with unit controll.

    to expalin: if your units get attacked by concussive shells, they will get killed if you try to run away. if the enemy is making many zerglings with speed, they can catch up and even surround any smallish gruop of units that you try to retreat with. forecefields can cut off the persuing marauders or temporarilyprotect your stlakers/sentries from surrounding zerlings while you decimate their numbers, but misplaced and/or mistimedthey do no goodyet make your army that much more expensive on gas that you could use on other stuff - but if you just warp in more zealot/stalker while your previous units are still fighting, they become harder to overrunand momentum may swing in your favour again, enablingyou to persue, retreat or wait for more reinforcments....

    ... i cant analyze exactly how you should approach this in different matchups, but the idea is, if you cant guareantee that your able to retreat, keep warping stuff in and attack, as to either cause enough damage to justify losses of units (kill some workers and/or important buildings like that hatchery so that you'd be ahead later) or make the enemy fall back by the force of your reinforcment ( "crap, moar zealots? i need to back up my stalkers /marines/lings and wait for more to get produced before i can push himback!) - enough for you to fall back to your expansion if you choose to...
    Last edited by Todie; 11-06-2011 at 07:20 PM.
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  9. #9

    Default Re: Early Offense for Protoss

    Hey guys. I know it's been ages since I last paid attention to any of my threads, but I felt this one was worth the while. I had been working 50-60 hour weeks for a few months, and devoted my spare time to laying rather than forum watching. I have long since improved my early game thanks to my 2v2 partner's advice on top of all of yours.

    One thing I'm still working on is effective use of caster units (sentry, HT only. I'm ok w/ the MS), especially FF and Storm. In part it's an APM issue, but my aim isn't great either. Another thing I'm tweaking is when to grab my 2nd and 3rd. Been youtubing a bit for help here, but have been winning when I'm not repelling an early rush.

    On another note, I've been Zerging it a bit more also, though I stay home with Toss when I need to accelerate my warm-up time (meaning I need a game or 2 when i log on to get up to speed ).
    I am a master tactician. It is my execution that keeps getting me killed.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Early Offense for Protoss

    Just to throw it out there, my current build is:

    10 - pylon
    12 - gate
    13 - pylon
    15 - cyb, 1 or both gas (both if i face a zerg or I scout early tech), 1st lot (about the 3:45 to 4:15 time range), pylon
    17-18 - 2 more gates, up to 3 lots made total, 1-2 pylons
    22 - 4th gate, robo, pylon
    26 - take natural, army is up to 8-10 misc lots and stalkers total.

    Overall I'm still vulnerable to rushes, but I have been placing 1st pylon and 1st gate at ramp (sometimes at natural ramp if I'm on the right map).

    I've begun to excel in the macro PvP and PvT a lot more (and in getting to it). Zerg is still a toughie. I've been working on my harass a lot vs Zerg, but often can't stop the third from going up. I get stopped because i don't counter mutas effectively, even with blink, nor do I get any phoenix out quickly enough.
    I am a master tactician. It is my execution that keeps getting me killed.

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